Jeff Mateer, the First Assistant Attorney General of Texas, resigned from his position in the state government on Friday, according to multiple sources within the Attorney General’s Office.
Mateer was first appointed to the position by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in April of 2016.
Prior to his role under Paxton, Mateer worked as the general counsel for the First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal organization focused on religious liberty casework.
In 2017, Mateer was nominated by the Trump administration to become a U.S. District Court judge in the Eastern District of Texas, but that nomination was reportedly withdrawn after he faced criticism for comments he made during a 2015 speech.
According to a CNN report, while talking about a public school being sued for denying a child to use the bathroom of the opposite sex, Mateer stated, “And the school said, ‘Well, she’s not using the girl’s restroom.’ And so she has now sued to have a right to go in. Now, I submit to you, a parent of three children who are now young adults, a first grader really knows what their sexual identity? I mean it just really shows you how Satan’s plan is working and the destruction that’s going on.”
Media reports have claimed that Mateer was directly calling transgender children “Satan’s spawn” or “part of Satan’s plan,” assuming that his comments were not more broadly in reference to transgender ideology.
According to the sources at the Attorney General’s Office, Mateer will be returning to work with the First Liberty Institute.
Nick Moutos, a former assistant Attorney General in Paxton’s office, lost his job last month amid controversial posts he made on social media.
Prior to Mateer’s state position, another notable individual filled the role, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21).
Roy worked as chief of staff for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during 2013 and 2014, and then went to work under Paxton for a little over a year before leaving to join a super PAC supporting Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.